Why Do Plants Turn Yellow? 11 Reasons & Fixes
Plants are sensitive, and there are various diseases, pests, and environmental issues that could make your plant feel under the weather. Even the most careful plant owners can experience their plants turning yellow. However, it’s helpful to act fast to help your plant and prevent it from developing severe issues.
For you to be able to react quickly and resolve the problem, you first need to find the cause of your plants turning yellow. This article will provide you with all the possible reasons for yellowing plants and a solution for it so your plant can become healthy and beautiful.
The 11 Reasons Why Plants Turn Yellow
1. Too Much Water
When you overwater your plant, and there’s no good drainage, it can quickly develop an array of issues, leading to yellowing and eventual root rot. The whole plant will look mushy and soft to the touch, while the plant can also develop mold or fungus.
2. Not Enough Water
Similar to the overwatering issue, your plant will become droopy and yellow if it’s not getting enough water.
Other signs of your plant not getting enough water commonly include:
- Dry soil
- Slow growth
- Dead leaves
3. Root Damage
This is one of the most common problems that can cause your plant to turn yellow. Root damage can occur due to various issues, such as root rot or compacted roots, which can lead to your plant dying. Once the roots are damaged, the plant won’t be able to get enough oxygen, water, and nutrients from the soil, leading to slow yellowing and eventual death.
You can inspect the roots to verify if they cause yellowing issues in your plant. To do that, you’ll need to slide your plant out of the pot and check for signs or damage. Healthy roots will have a yellowish-white color without any smell. However, rotten roots will smell bad, and they will become dark.
4. Inadequate Soil pH
Plants need adequate soil pH to thrive, and each plant has different requirements for soil pH. When the pH balance disturbs, your plant could slowly turn yellow due to the lack of nutrients, causing more issues with time.
Most plants need soil with neutral or slightly acidic pH, typically between 6 and 7 pH. If the soil pH suddenly increases or declines, the nutrients will become less available, and even fertilization won’t be able to help.
5. Lack of Nutrients
If you’ve already ruled out the possibility of too much watering, root rot, and other issues while your soil pH is adequate, it could mean that your soil has a lack of nutrients making your plant turn yellow.
To grow healthy and strong plants need an array of nutrients, although the most important ones are:
When there’s not enough of these, your plant won’t get the essential nutrition it needs to thrive.
6. Not Enough Light
Another common issue that can cause your plant to turn yellow is that it’s not getting enough light. As you already know, proper lighting is essential for your plants to grow and thrive, so a lack of light can mess with your plants, preventing photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis, the plant will slowly become yellow, and it could slowly die.
Every plant has a minimal and maximal optimal temperature it can grow in. It could turn yellow when that temperature is disturbed and either too hot or too cold for your plant. Improper temperature issues are especially visible in tropical plants that experience too much cold.
Plants are prone to pests which can cause severe issues, starting with yellowing and leading to your plant dying.
There are various insects that can attack your plant but some of the most common ones are:
As you cannot see many of them easily, you might not even realize that your plant has pest problems. However, as these insects take away the sap from the plant, its leaves will stipple, turn yellow, and eventually fall off.
9. Too Much Fertilization
Fertilization is a standard process many plant owners engage in, and it’s typically beneficial for your plants. However, some people believe adding more fertilizer than recommended will help their plant thrive faster, which is not the case. Instead, adding too much fertilizer to your plant can prevent it from growing, disturbing its ecosystem and causing the leaves to turn yellow.
Similar to pests, plants are also prone to diseases that can cause an array of issues with different symptoms, and yellowing is one of them. As there are various diseases, you need to learn how to recognize their signs to treat them in time. Here are some of the most common plant diseases that cause yellowing:
- Granville wilt: Yellowing, root decay, stunting
- Citrus stubborn disease: Wilting, yellowing of the leaves, chlorosis
- Leaf rust: Yellow leaves
There are other diseases as well, so if you notice one, it might be helpful to consult an expert to figure out which disease you’re dealing with.
While people develop wrinkles with age, plants can get yellow leaves as a sign of aging. When that happens, there’s nothing to worry about as it’s a natural process, and this will eventually happen to all plants. That doesn’t mean that your plant is ill or that there’s an issue, but that it’s simply growing, which is completely normal.
As there are various reasons why your plant is turning yellow, you must act quickly if you notice yellowness to find the actual cause. Once you do, you’ll be able to treat the condition, help your plant, and prevent this problem from occurring again.
Thankfully, most of the issues are easy to fix, and your plant won’t suffer further damage, but some problems, such as root rot, can, unfortunately, cause death, which is why you should be careful and act fast.
Featured Image Credit: Amverlly, Shutterstock